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Thread: Cast bullet hunting

  1. #1
    SD Regular Greener Jim's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    Yorkshireman in Darkest Cornwall

    Cast bullet hunting

    I spoke to my FEO and he states that hunting with cast bullets is fine in England as it is by definition a soft point.
    He states that the onus would be on me to make sure that at predicted maximum range (and therefore lowest predicted impact velocity) that it would expand properly.

    I'm fine with all this and I hope this doesn't turn into a legal discussion as that isn't my point.

    Has anyone used hard cast bullets on deer sized game? Recovered the bullet? Expansion?

    I would run a multitude of tests before trying on game, I just want to know if I'd be wasting my time.

    For those interested, it'd be a .458 340gr with 22BHN and would be at about 1900-2000 fps at the muzzle.
    This gives me a minimum impact velocity of 1550 at 100 yards, my max range

    I have no doubt it would take game with authority but I want to make sure they expand so I'm safe and legal

  2. #2
    SD Regular
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    Dec 2008
    East Midlands M1/M69 Junction 21
    Here goes...

    You have basically a number of approaches:

    1) Cast bullet in normal alloy with a hollow point cast in to it using a specialist mould or the hollow pointer attachment on a Forster trimmer. Or of a proven design that kills with no need for the hollow pint.

    2) The old time trick of putting a sheet of newspaper between the mould blocks about half an inch or so in width at the tip. Making effectively the old time split nose bullet.

    Or high velocity:

    3) Linotype. Hard to get but you can make a mix of lead and tin to get similar hardness. These don't expand that much. I have never shot them made from a hollow point mould.

    4) Cast bullet in normal alloy but cast and paper patched. This requires a smooth mould with no grease grooves and a knowledge of the reason behind, and how to, paper patch. The best source is the book "Shooting the Paper Patched Bullet".

    Have fun. 2) apparently delivers spectacular results far exceeding the little effort required to make them as such it requires only paper strips and a steady hand to place them in position.

  3. #3
    You don't need hard cast, and you don't need that much velocity.
    Shoot a softer bullet with a gas check, and get the velocity down around 1,800 fps.
    Works in a .45-70, .444, .30-06, and .303. Mild recoil, accurate, and 100 yards is a snap.

  4. #4
    SD Regular Greener Jim's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    Yorkshireman in Darkest Cornwall
    Thanks for the info enfieldspares. I won't be using a hollow point, just a flat nose. Point #2 sounds interesting, I've heard if it before but you've got me curious all over again!

    Southern, I am more than happy to do that and I was planning on a BHN of 15 in the same design with gas check.
    Then I spoke to the cast bullet maker and he said that for 1800fps I'd need Linotype.

    I only need 1600fps to be nudging 2000ft-lbs so could probably go down to his 15bhn alloy for that but obviously I'd have a fair amount less energy.

  5. #5
    How do you define expansion from a legal point of view Jim. We all know that nearly all bullets deform/expand to some extent on impact but at the velocities that you are talking about a .458 340grn bullet isn't exactly going to display the classic mushroom shape is it, not that it needs to.
    A bullet of that diameter is going to do the job and it's initial diameter will probably be more than the expanded diameter of some .243win bullets after they have expanded.

    I understand from reading elsewhere that cast bullets are quite popular in South Africa for meat hunting and do the job with few problems.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  6. #6
    SD Regular Greener Jim's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    Yorkshireman in Darkest Cornwall
    That's my thinking is that it's going to be a big hole and the flat point will do spot of damage no matter what it's consistency.
    I believe that a JSP expands in to out whereas a cast bullet just gets pushed back and gets wider as it does so.
    So my plan would be to measure it's starting and finishing length and width to get an idea of the expansion.
    If it expands to 0.5" then I'll be happy. That's the minimum I think I could justify as expanding.
    I'm thinking that I'll fire it into a phone book infront if a couple of haybales to catch it.
    Should give me an idea. I'd like a little more expansion in this test so that I know it'll expand the 0.5" on light game

  7. #7
    I have read up on this matter on a lot of forums in the USA and everyone says don't use hollow point boolits! They break up on impact and fail to penetrate.
    I would suggest for .30 cal the 311291(blunt round nose) or 311041 (flat nose) both around 180gr are the ideal boolits to use as they impart their energy well without breaking up.
    The Americans drive these boolits at around 1600fps or so and therefore need a gas check fitted.
    To meet our regulations you will need to drive the boolit at sufficient velocity to make energy (and velocity in Scotland). I can drive a .308 at 2600fps from my target rifle (Parker Hale 1200TX) so the velocity requirement can be met. Ideally though I prefer 2000fps as a maximum and 1600fps for 100 to 200 yard ranges.
    Boolit hardness should be around 15 Brinell (Lyman No. 2 alloy) - Most range scrap will meet this hardness - I use range lead actually cut back with 1/3rd pure lead from the scrappy. Get yourself a lead hardness tester and don't forget that lead age hardens so leave your sample at least a week before testing.
    The use of cast boolits is a whole new aspect to shooting that is fascinating and enjoyable.
    Last edited by dodgyrog; 23-09-2014 at 08:44.

  8. #8
    I forgot to add that the reaction to shot is different and that animal may run a short way. Accurate boolit placement is essential and you MUST wait for the animal to expire before approaching it.

  9. #9
    SD Regular Greener Jim's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    Yorkshireman in Darkest Cornwall
    Cheers Dodgyrog. Apparently I spoke to the new guy so he rang me, said he wasn't sure anymore and will get back t me.
    Might have t go jacketed anyway!

  10. #10
    can't see how they can say it won't deform/expand just because it is non-jacketed.

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